Science Cover: A female Aedes aegypti mosquito attempts to take flight after a blood meal. Image Credit: James Gathany/CDC
NBC Plays The PC Card On IQ Test Report
(does not mention that the study also recognizes gender along with social rank in family dynamics)
The NBC Weekend Today Show for Saturday decided to report on an article published in the journal Science and when doing so decided to color the conclusions to meet their own politically correct, or should we say gender correct, template.
In the study titled - Explaining the Relation Between Birth Order and Intelligence
Petter Kristensen and Tor Bjerkedal, Science 22 June 2007 - NBC claimed that intelligence is more about environment than biology without EVER mentioning either the word Male or Female ... but if one reads the article, the phrase that really sticks out is the order on which the study finds the IQ ranking – “It's a matter of what they call social rank in the family - the highest scores were racked up by the senior boy - the first born - or, if the firstborn had died in infancy, the next oldest.”
By reading this, gender plays a greater role (ie. first born Male - as in senior boy) than does actual rank as first born.
CNN took a clearer and more direct description to the findings in the article in their title of the reporting of the findings.
This from AP via CNN –
Boys treated as eldest do better on IQ tests
POSTED: 5:51 p.m. EDT, June 21, 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Boys at the top of the pecking order -- either by birth or because their older siblings died -- score higher on IQ tests than their younger brothers.
The question of whether firstborn and only children are really smarter than those who come along later has been hotly debated for more than a century.
Norwegian researchers now report that it isn't a matter of being born first, but growing up the senior child, that seems to result in the higher IQ scores.
Petter Kristensen and Tor Bjerkedal report their findings in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
It's a matter of what they call social rank in the family -- the highest scores were racked up by the senior boy -- the first born or, if the firstborn had died in infancy, the next oldest.
Frank J. Sulloway of the Institute for Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, welcomed what he called the Norwegians' "elegantly designed" analysis.
"These two researchers demonstrate that how study participants were raised, not how they were born, is what actually influences their IQs," said Sulloway, who was not part of the research team.
And this from AP via Forbes -
Families' Eldest Boys Do Best on Tests
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID - Associated Press - 06.21.07, 4:15 PM ET
Boys at the top of the pecking order - either by birth or because their older siblings died - score higher on IQ tests than their younger brothers. The question of whether firstborn and only children are really smarter than those who come along later has been hotly debated for more than a century.
It's a matter of what they call social rank in the family - the highest scores were racked up by the senior boy - the first born or, if the firstborn had died in infancy, the next oldest.
The average IQ of first-born men was 103.2, they found.
Second-born men averaged 101.2, but second-born men whose older sibling died in infancy scored 102.9.
And for third-borns, the average was 100.0. But if both older siblings died young, the third-born score rose to 102.6.
The findings provide "evidence that the relation between birth order and IQ score is dependent on the social rank in the family and not birth order as such," they concluded.
It's an issue that has perplexed people since at least 1874, when Sir Francis Galton reported that men in prominent positions tend to be firstborns more often than would have been statistically expected.
Since then, several studies have reported higher intelligence scores for firstborns, while other analyses have questioned those findings and the methodology of the reports.
While the Norwegian analysis focused on men, other studies have included women, some indicating a birth-order effect and some not.